Monday, January 18, 2016

How to Take Quality Photos of TPT Products

Tpt creators will let you know that creating a product is not the end all of being successful in the TPT world. It takes a lot of work, dedication, and commitment to serving teachers all around the globe. The resources that are created can be the most beneficial and innovative, but if they are not advertised in the Internet world, then they will not gain any success. Ask any teacherpreneur about the hard work they put in creating AND promoting their products! 

Regardless, the great influx of amazing products created and promoted on a daily basis is drastic! Your own posts might get drowned by others' promotions. This means that you have to try to set yourself apart from the rest! The best way to do this is by taking better photos of your products! 

I've written this quick and easy blogpost featuring Instagram photos of professionals that use the tips that I discuss. You don't need to be a professional photographer, but these tips will set you apart from the crowd with whatever little camera experience you may have! Keep reading to see how you can achieve quality photos of your Teachers Pay Teachers resources for your blog, Instagram, or Pinterest. 

Nowadays almost everyone takes photos with their iPhone. If that is the best you can do, then that is perfectly ok! Simply follow the tips with your iPhone.  If you are able, try to invest in a good DSLR. It does not have to be a new one, but make sure you do your research before you buy something. Getting a DSLR will take out some of the guess work of taking photos and up your photo game.  The quality of images they produce is so much higher than a cell phone or regular camera. Mine is an older model Canon T5 Rebel, and I am in love with it. Check it out here.
You do not need this! Start small! 
Keep it simple. 

Most of our products are white pages. A nice  surface is necessary to make those white pages stand out. It can be any color or texture, but it must look clean. If you do not have a surface that is easy to use or photograph, then you can get poster boards of any color from Walmart or Target. Try to stay away from anything sparkly or shiny, as that might reflect the light too much.  I say stay consistent because you want to be able to take photos whenever you want. If you keep the same one, your photos will be more uniform and professional. People will be able to identify your products just by taking a look at your photos. Take a look at some of these Instagram photos by some of my favorite paper goods designers. 

Notice how the grainy wood gives a great texture to the photo. The dark color looks great with the lighter paper color. The photo below also uses this type of composition. 
Rekers Drees Design  always has a beautiful, textured background to bring her designs to life. 

The best, most vital pins on Instagram are ones that do not have a background but focus on the product that is being photographed. Take a look at some of these Instagram shots. They do a great job at capturing the product without having a messy background. Think of it this way, would you want your audience to look at what's in the background or really focus on what you want them to look at? 

I took this photo of one of my products, and I made sure that the entirety of the photo was my product. 
One of my favorite sellers on TpT, Stacey Lloyd, also does a great job of having a clean background. She focused the entire photo on her product, and it looks great! 

Unless your theme is an all white one, then you should make sure your photographs have some pops of color. Having 2-3 colors on each photo would be the perfect amount. Anything more than that would be excessive and messy looking! Your pops of color can be Pens, pencils, background image, pictures on the product, and teacher related props. These Instagram shots do a great job of including those props and colors. 

Michelle Griffo from Apples and ABCs  makes her products look bright and vibrant with reds and purples.  The white paper also contrasts that wood texture fabulously.  

This designer uses colorful washi tape! I know almost every teacher owns at least one of these! 
When I took this photo, I compared it to the previous photo without the crayons. Without the crayons the page didn't look as inviting. It created a brightening effect! 

The best place to get these items would be at a dollar store or the dollar section at Target. They can be reused in different photos, but make sure to not over use the props. They should also be a very small part of the photos. The gold arrow you see is from the dollar section at Target. 

This tip was one of my favorites that Kristen from Easy Teaching Tools taught me!! Kristen, the Instagram teacher queen, noticed that her most commented/liked photos were angle pics. I decided to give it a try on my own Instagram, and I noticed quite a difference! For this you need to get really up close and personal to your product! Make sure your product is flipped the right way though! Here are some favorites from Kristen. 

To get really technical, you can try the rule of thirds. If you google it you will find a bunch of information on it. If there is need, I can write another blog post on this topic. This professional technique drastically makes photos look so much better! 

The best place to take a photo is in front of a window. Make sure that direct sunlight is not hitting the product, but you have soft like coming in. If you live somewhere sunny like me, San Diego REPRESENT, then you can put a see through curtain. You will get a beautiful soft, natural light that makes photos look so much better! Try to stay away from filters, yellow light, and fluorescent light. 

Here is an example of how your "studio" can look. Your job is so much easier when you have big windows to work with. 

Your product probably has more than 4 pages, unfortunately you can not show it all in one photo. You have to choose 2-4 pages to highlight. What is the main focus of your product? What do you want your audience to take away about your product in just one look at a photo? Include those pages only, and do go overboard with overlapping. 

Here is another nugget of gold from Stacey. You can really only see parts of two pages from her product. It looks clean and makes you desire to see more of the product. 

After reading these tips on taking better photographs for your TPT products, I hope you are walking away more motivated and encouraged to take more professional photos! I encourage you to share with your teacher tribes, and let me know if any of these deem useful! 

Find me on Instagram. I would love to be friends! 

Love you all! 


  1. There are some really good takeaway points in this article - thank you for sharing your knowledge :)

  2. What wonderful tips on photography! I'm so inspired to try some! Love the variety of examples! Thank you for writing and sharing about the difference a photograph can make!

  3. Thank you for sharing what you have learned on your TpT journey. There are really good tips to help products standout. I need to begin using them myself. :)

  4. Thanks for sharing! I don't have a nice camera but I can certainly try some of your tips with my Android phone (I can't possibly be the only teacher that doesn't have an iPhone. Right? Ha-ha!).

  5. Thanks for sharing! I don't have a nice camera but I can certainly try some of your tips with my Android phone (I can't possibly be the only teacher that doesn't have an iPhone. Right? Ha-ha!).

  6. This is really helpful. I've been thinking a lot more about photography of my products. Thanks for the excellent tips!

  7. This is so helpful; love the angled view tip. Thanks!!

  8. This is such a great post! Thank you so much! I think I'm going to have a photoshoot this weekend, haha.

  9. Wow! Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Wow! Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Thank you for sharing your tips. It really made me feel like stepping up my game :)

  12. I love the tip about taking pictures on an angle - I'm definitely going to try that this week. Thank you for sharing!

  13. Thanks for sharing all this wonderful info!

  14. Loved your post and thank you for including me. You're really rocking Instagram!

  15. I LOVE you! Wasn't expecting to find such great information when I googled, "taking pictures of my TPT products" Thank you!!


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  17. Thank You for this innovative piece of knowledge about this section of photography. Will definitely give it a try. I Hope you'll love my work too.

  18. I love your effective ideas. Thank you so much

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